A Gettysburg related “Medal of Honor” Bible

Nov 15, 2019

Pictured is a pocket Bible from my collection shared and inscribed by two young soldiers from Company E, 6th Pennsylvania Reserve Regiment (35th Regiment).

The primary owner’s inscription is that of William E. Gillespie from Treverton Pa. the second inscription is that of Thaddeus S. Smith. Both of them were teenagers when they joined the unit and their comparable young age presumably helped forge a bond wherein they shared this Bible.

At Gettysburg on July 2, 1863 a small detail of six volunteers was dispatched to attack Confederate sharpshooters in a log house near Devil’s Den (this log house was probably part of the John T. Weikert farm). For this mission, all six volunteers were later awarded the Medal of Honor. Thaddeus S. Smith was one of those six and he received the nation’s highest honor on May 5, 1900.
Nov 15, 2019
They all were alive when they received the Medal of Honor....
Thaddeus Smith died 1933
Chester Furman died 1910
John Hart died 1907
Wallace Johnson died 1911
George Mears died 1921
James Roush died 1906
Smith’s military life after Gettysburg is also fascinating. He was captured at Weldon Railroad in 1864 and sent to Andersonville where he escaped, was recaptured and remained a prisoner until March 1865.

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Jan 16, 2015
"George Washington Mears, at present Railroad Agent at Rupert, Pa., holds a medal of honor for distinguished gallantry in action at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863. When the 6th Reserves charged from Little Round Top down through the historic Wheatfield, Col. Ent noticed a number of rebel sharpshooters located in a log house over to the right, who were picking off officers and men of his regiment by their well-directed fire. The Colonel asked Serg't Mears to call for volunteers and drive the rebels out of the house. Serg't Mears, at the head of five men, charged the house, and captured about a dozen Johnnies and brought them into our line prisoners. This was the act that gained him the medal, it being worked up by his comrades at one of the Reunions of the 6th Regiment. ... Mears enlisted in Co. A, 6th Pa. Reserves, at the age of 17, in 1861, and served with distinction until the Mine Run movement under Meade, in November, 1863, when a piece of shell shattered his shoulder, and he lost his left arm. He was said by the Surgeon to be the worst wounded man in the division who recovered. - One of his friends." (National Tribune, June 24, 1897, p. 3)

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